Jane Carter, LPC

Counseling * EMDR

Sometimes the  only nudge you need to start moving toward a fuller, more meaningful life is someone to tell  your story to: Someone who will listen, provide both support and  challenge, collaborate with you, give insight, and encourage you along  the way.

 

Whether it's dealing with specific struggles, strengthening relationships, pursuing life dreams, or wrestling with the spiritual issues that arise in the midst of these objectives, counseling is a courageous first step towards pursuing a more vibrant life. Come, tell me your story.

 

 

Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul. –Thomas Merton

 

 

 For a free get-acquainted session, call (828) 215-8971 or email JaneCarterLPC@gmail.com

  

Change and Stuff.

Have you ever noticed how change, even good change, can bring our "stuff" up? The blessed  wedding brings a family to the brink of falling apart, the move to an exciting new city triggers  an existential crisis, the building of the new house brings weeping and gnashing of teeth. -Even a new haircut can suddenly cause a seismic shift in one's self-identity (cue scene of Julia Roberts as Shelby in Steel Magnolias, touching her newly-short hair and whimpering "Oh...gosh...").

I made a big change recently. Over the last year or so, my side counseling practice (I called it my "very private practice", because I had to keep it small while having a job) started to grow. And then grow some more.  As I considered going into full-time private practice, I started to feel a "zing" of excitement I typically only feel when I'm on airplane to a far off place. The thing is, I had a wonderful job. The meaningful nature of the work hadn't diminished; I find it an incredible privilege to hear people's stories and share their journey towards growth. However, I realized I couldn't follow the exciting rabbit trail of this new adventure while keeping one foot in my old comfort zone. So I leapt. 

I was happily decorating my new office (which I love! Video tour to come soon!), and fielding calls from new clients, when suddenly, my Stuff came up. Those questions like, "Who am I to do this work?", "Why do I do this again?", and the worst, "What if I'm actually terrible at this, and nobody wants to tell me?" It was my fear of having a Shelby-post-haircut type of moment, staring catatonically with regret. Oh...gosh. (Where is Dolly Parton to encourage me when I need her?)

I was alternating between trying to remember what I tell clients who have these thoughts, and avoiding thinking by staying busy. I went to my old office to pack some things up, when something wonderful happened. I unlocked an old file-cabinet to sort the contents, when I came across a collection of old client files. As I browsed through them, I smiled as I remembered the faces of people I had worked with, their difficult moments of struggle, the awkward moments when I didn't know what to say, and the moments when, just after the client left the room, I exclaimed "Shazam!" and did a little dance of joy to celebrate the "aha"-moment of healing/breakthrough they had just had. I remembered why I love to be a counselor: it's fun. Yes, fun. It's vibrant, meaningful, creative work. Even when it's hard, it's a joy to witness someone's growth, to be present with them while they work through their own Stuff. It's soul work. It's fun. 

Even as I write this post, I can see that I just got a contact from a new client. I feel a little zing of excitement, wondering what their story will be, and what part I'll get to have in that story; aware that it probably took a lot of courage for them to make that first call; and saying a little prayer of gratitude, that the phone is ringing, and that the adventure is continuing. Shazam!